What To Do With A Surplus Of Hog Waste In Eastern North Carolina

Nov 4, 2014

A hog waste lagoon in Beaufort County, NC. The lagoon turns pink when bacteria colonize the waste.
Credit DefMo / Flickr Creative Commons


It’s been an environmental quandry for years: what to do hog waste in North Carolina.

The state is home to nearly 9 million hogs, which produce massive amounts of waste.

Some of it goes back onto the farms of eastern North Carolina as fertilizer, but much of it is stored in open-air lagoons, which have been known to contaminate groundwater and produce a putrid smell for nearby homes.

A new technology exists to convert the waste into energy but it is not affordable for most hog farmers.

Host Frank Stasio talks with National Geographic contributor Sara Peach, who has examined alternatives to hog waste lagoons in her latest article, "What to Do About Pig Poop? North Carolina Fights a Rising Tide."